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Sheriffs can inspect homes for safe gun storage in Washington state under Democratic weapon bill

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A new bill working through Washington state's legislature would allow local sheriffs to enter homes of gun owners to ensure their weapons are properly stored.

The bill, pushed by Democrats, allows police to search where and how assault weapons are stored — as well as how safely they are stored, according to its text, listed in the state's online legislative directory as SB 5737-2013-14.

The bill reads: "In order to continue to possess an assault weapon that was legally possessed on the effective date of this section, the person in possession shall ... safely and securely store the assault weapon. The sheriff of the county may, no more than once per year, conduct an inspection to ensure compliance with this subsection."

The definition of a "safely and securely" stored weapon is left largely to law enforcement to decide.

The bill with the original offending language has been removed from the state's legislative website, according to a report from The Seattle Times. The sponsor says the language was a mistake, the Seattle Times says.

A report in The Examiner says bill sponsor Ed Murray said he didn't know of the provision that allowed police to go door-to-door and check for proper gun storage.

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